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A-Levels vs Foundation Degree? (Options available upon Completion) watch

    • Thread Starter

    Short(ish) Version:

    For a young person (19) with 3 years work-experience in a specific industry and a graduate level job, who's circumstances prevent them from studying full time and would mean any educational course they want to take would require payment (I want to get the most for my money!), is it better to take A-Levels in a range of subjects or a Foundation Degree in the area they have experience in?

    (Before you say Foundation Degree, I really want to keep my options open in terms of what is available to me upon completion of the course - I might not want to stay in the area I have experience in!)

    Longer Version with Context:

    I had a child two years ago at the age of 17, and I left school with 7 GCSE's (All B/C's - I could of done better if I actually studied / revised / attended school!).

    Once I left school, and before I had a baby, I completed a Level 2 apprenticeship in IT, this allowed me to get a decent job working in IT support, and after a year in that role, I got promoted to a consultant for the same company - It's a really good job, as I get to travel the world and the wage is similar (+/- £1000) to that of graduates in my industry.

    Since I have left school with no higher level qualifications, and I really want to do more with my life than consultancy, I've been researching part-time (I can't quit my job and go into FT education, as I have a family to provide for and house to pay for!) higher education courses, and I've found a foundation degree in computing available at my local college.

    The entry requirements state 160 UCAS points are needed, but it also accepts candidates with relevant experience, subject to the completion of a piece of coursework so they can evaluate my knowledge. (I have 3 years work-experience in IT and programming, and alongside programming books, I've been reading Computer Science A Level text-books to fill gaps in my knowledge - So I'm confident that I could get through with this option.)

    The problem with this is that upon completion, I think it limits me to only computing / IT related HE courses in the future. And whilst right-now, I think that's all I'm going to want to do, I really want to keep my options open as much as possible. (I have strong interests in a few other fields: Medicine, Law, Economics)

    Therefore would the better option be to complete Distance-Learning A-Levels in the subjects I have interests in?

    The down-side to this, is that since I'd be paying for my courses regardless of which option I go down, I think I'd much rather pay for a course that's at a higher level of education - even if it does cost a lost more money!
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